Mulled Spiced Wine is the perfect winter drink to warm you up on a cold night. This drink consists of red wine infused with warm and sweet flavors from cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger and balanced with citrusy flavors from fresh orange. It’s best enjoyed heated up and in company of a loved one.
I remember as a young adult being surrounded by my family, friends and relatives at my parent’s house on Christmas Eve; the evergreen tree decorated with ornaments and garlands and the window sills flanked with powdered snow; a wooden tray full of gold rimmed red, green, blue and yellow espresso cups; the cups filled with steaming hot mulled spice wine. As I took the first sip, the warm wine and infused spices brought a warm calming feeling in my body. Mulled Spiced Wine is a drink I enjoy each winter season and look forward to every year.
Content in this Post
- What is Mulled Spiced Wine?
- What Ingredients are Used in Glögg?
- List of Ingredients used in Mulled Spiced Wine
- How do you make Mulled Spiced Wine (Glögg)?
- STEP 1 — Peel the Ginger and Orange
- STEP 2 — Pour in the Wine
- STEP 3 — Add Ingredients
- STEP 4 — Heat the Wine
- STEP 5 — Pour the Wine and Serve
- List of Equipment Needed to Make Mulled Wine.
- How long does it take to heat Mulled Wine?
- What temperature should Mulled Spiced Wine be Heated to?
- Other Traditional Swedish and Scandinavian Recipes
What is Mulled Spiced Wine?
Mulled spiced wine, or simply mulled wine, is a traditional winter drink that originates from the Roman Empire about 200 BC. It was used as a a natural remedy to fight of winter illnesses. Nowadays it is enjoyed all over the world but most commonly found in Europe during Christmas time.
The heated drink uses red wine as a base with added spices commonly found in Asian cuisines. Mulled spiced wine goes by different names, many of them directly translate to “heated, boiled or hot wine” depending on which country it is enjoyed in. Germany uses the name Glühwein which translates into “glow wine”.
In the Nordic countries, the drink is called Glögg. The word glögg stems from the process of heating up (glödga) wine. It is traditionally served with gingerbreads or saffron flavored sweet buns (lussekatter) on December 13th in celebration of Saint Lucia’s Day.
What Ingredients are Used in Glögg?
Typically, mulled wine has a blend of spices added to it commonly found in the Indian Subcontinent and South Asia. The most frequently used spices are ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. In addition, orange peel is added for a fruity flavor along with sugar.
Through our years of making the mulled spiced wine recipe we have found a healthier alternative to refined sugar, a natural sweetener used in Middle-Eastern cooking — Iraqi Style Date Syrup. The sweetness that naturally occurs in dates complements the health benefits from the fruit. Dates are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins with a low glycemic index. In addition, date syrup only has 75% of carbohydrates compared to white or brown sugar. There is also a small amount of naturally occurring sodium in date syrup that adds to the flavors of the mulled spiced wine.
List of Ingredients used in Mulled Spiced Wine
- Red Wine (look for a dark, fruity and full-bodied wine such as Merlot, Zinfandel or a blended wine — the label should read “notes of vanilla”).
- Cinnamon Stick
- Ginger Root (to save time when cooking, freeze the ginger in 1 inch pieces — they are also a lot easier to peel when slightly thawed — note: the ginger can be eaten once the wine is mulled).
- Cardamom Pods
- Date Syrup (we use Iraqi Style Date Syrup — you can find it in most Middle Eastern markets and some well stocked grocery stores).
- Orange Peel (use a potato peeler to shave off the peel off the orange — enjoy the orange within a few hours as it quickly dries up once the peel is gone).
How do you make Mulled Spiced Wine (Glögg)?
The mulled spiced wine is made with ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange peel and date syrup to wine and then slowly heat it up on the stovetop. Commonly, mulled wine is heated up in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid. It is important to use a lid to prevent the water in the wine from evaporating, which would lead to less mulled wine to enjoy.
Up until recently we have used a saucepan to heat the Mulled Spiced Wine, but now use a glass kettle instead. We find the glass kettle preserves more flavor and adds less tartness to the wine, and it naturally preserves the water.
STEP 1 — Peel the Ginger and Orange
Peel the the ginger and the orange (the orange peel is used in the drink so don’t discard of it).
STEP 2 — Pour in the Wine
Pour the bottle of wine into a kettle or a saucepan with a lid.
STEP 3 — Add Ingredients
Add all ingredients to the wine.
STEP 4 — Heat the Wine
Slowly heat up the wine until it reaches about 180°F or 80°C (it takes about 30 minutes on the stove at medium low setting [⅓ of max] but this may vary by equipment).
STEP 5 — Pour the Wine and Serve
Pour the Mulled Spice Wine into a mug while sifting out the spices using a fine mesh strainer.
List of Equipment Needed to Make Mulled Wine.
- A 1½ quart (1.5 L) kettle or a 1 quart (1L) saucepan with lid.
- Fine mesh strainer (to sift out the spices)
How long does it take to heat Mulled Wine?
Mulled spiced wine needs to be heated up slowly but never simmer or boil. If the wine is heated too quickly the alcohol molecules are broken down into sugar and the alcohol is lost. Use a medium low setting on your stovetop burner to heat up the Mulled Spiced Wine, When heated slowly it takes about 30 minutes to reach the desired temperature. But don’t solely rely on time when you heat the wine. All it takes is a minute away from the stove before the wine simmers in the pot.
One telltale sign of the wine is close to the correct temperature is to see the cardamom pods puff up and float to the surface of the wine. But to be sure you don’t heat it too much use more precise method, such as a food thermometer.
What temperature should Mulled Spiced Wine be Heated to?
As mentioned earlier, we used to heat up the mulled wine in a steel sauce pan with a tight lid. The sauce pan had a glass lid to allow you to observe the wine heat up with the spices. However, when we didn’t pay enough attention to the process it quickly went from wine to wine-flavored water. Lessons learned, we now rely on the visibility of the glass kettle and the accuracy of a digital food thermometer.
So what is the correct temperature to heat the wine? Well, the only incorrect temperature is a temperature at or above boiling. We like to play it safe and stay 30°F or 15°C below the boiling temperature. So, we heat up our Mulled Spiced Wine to 180°F or 82°C.
Other Traditional Swedish and Scandinavian Recipes
When you make one of our pita pizzas, remember to accompany it with the Swedish Pizza Salad. In addition, you can also start the day with Swedish crêpes or for the extra fun time, the mini crêpes, or plättar as they are called. You can read more about the Swedish traditions and unique foods at Sweden.se.
Invitingly Warm and Cozy Mulled Spiced Wine (Glögg)
- 750 milliliters Red Wine, any red wine will do
- 1 Orange Peel, use a potato peeler
- 1 inch Ginger
- 6 Cloves
- 4 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 6 Cardamom Pods
- ½ cup Date Syrup, or regular sugar
- ¼ cup Raisins
- ¼ cup Slivered Almonds
- Peel the skin off the ginger.
- Peel the orange
- Pour the bottle of wine into a kettle or saucepan.
- Add all the ingredients to the wine.
- Slowly heat up the wine (on medium low heat) until it reaches about 180°F or 80°C. Takes about 20-30 minutes.
- Pour the Mulled Spice Wine into a mug while sifting out the spices using a fine mesh strainer.
- Optionally, add raisins and slivered almonds to the drink. Enjoy!
The above nutritional values are estimates and should only be used as a guide. If you are following a specific diet or have dietary restrictions, please use your preferred nutritional calculator. If you have a food allergy please ensure that none of the listed ingredients are part of your restrictions. As well, always use a food thermometer to ensure safe cooking temperature of the food items.
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